December 22nd, 2009
10:33 AM ET
8 months ago

Polls: Majority oppose heath care bill

New polls show Americans are opposed to the Senate Health Care bill.
New polls show Americans are opposed to the Senate Health Care bill.

Washington (CNN) - For the second straight day, a new national poll indicates that a solid majority of Americans oppose the health care bill that Democrats are pushing through the Senate.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday morning, 53 percent of the public disapproves of the proposed changes, with 36 percent supporting the bill.

That follows a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday that indicated 42 percent favor the Senate Democrats' legislation, with 56 percent opposed.

Both surveys were conducted last week through Sunday, as Senate Democrats were negotiating a final health care bill, but before a crucial party-line vote early Monday morning to end debate, a huge hurdle to eventual passage of the legislation that the Democrats successfully were able to jump.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, Americans by an 18-point margin disapprove of the job President Barack Obama's doing on health care.

"As President Barack Obama's numbers on health care have declined so has his margin over Republicans on whom American voters trust most on the issue," says Peter Brown, Assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "In July he enjoyed a 20-point edge on the trust question, and that margin has been narrowing, to 45 – 40 percent today."

The Quinnipiac survey also indicates that while a majority of Americans oppose the health care plan, they back two options that were cut from the Senate bill. According to the poll, 56 percent support the option of getting coverage through a government health insurance plan, with 38 percent opposing the public option. And nearly two-thirds like the proposal to allow people as young as 55 to buy into the government run Medicare program, with three in ten opposed.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted December 15-20, with 1,616 registered voters from across the country questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Jensen

    Does anyone "prescreen" people who are polled to determine if they even know enough to provide anything resembling an informed and intelligent opinion? Or, do the polsters ask questions (which are sometimes so slanted that the answers received border on truly meaningless) and instead of truly getting opinions from informed people the poll results are the equivelent of meaningless sound bites?

    I'll bet that it is always, or almost always, the latter. This is America where form over substance rules and headlines mean more than the facts in the stories.

    December 22, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. Evan

    We want a bill that means something. We want the 30 million that this bill will require to purchase health insurance to have the option to choose between public insurance and private insurance.

    Why do the insurance and oil companies get to continue breaking the backs of ordinary americans? They have a Monopoly. Monopolies are supposed to be illegal. Just like long distance companies, let's deregulate this, and let consumers drive down the costs.

    If health insurance were more like a gym membership gimic, folks would catch on.

    December 22, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Pete

    This shows everything that's wrong with Congress in this day and age. As with every other major piece of legislation that they've worked on in the past few years, the health care bill has become so watered down and distorted that their goal is no longer to pass a good bill for the people but to just pass it, period, and claim "victory." Forget that the majority of people themselves–who they claim to be helping–don't support it by a wide margin.

    But, at least they're making sure to ramrod it through by Christmas, because that's really, really important in the long run. And, it plays so very well on CNN. Really, how stupid and tone-deaf are these people?

    December 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Chris - MN

    Poll, majority don't have any clue about the healthcare bill. Thanks CNN.

    December 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Todd

    The pollsters are asking the wrong questions. they need to ask WHY people oppose it. When you ask that question you get the hodge podge of lies being spread by republicons and their propaganda networks.

    it was the same thing with when republicons tried to eliminate estate taxes. They changed the name and lied like crazy about it. they got overwhelming support for ending estate taxes because they lied. When people were asked the relevant question – not about the fictional "death tax" but about estate taxes they remained in favor of keeping them.

    So in short what this poll shows is the effectiveness of republicon lying.

    December 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Jeanette A.

    Why is it President Obama can have all the credit for negative occurances in Politics but no credit for the successes? Who really believes he was not cracking the whip behind the scenes of the healthcare reform initiative?

    December 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. tim

    At leaset President Obama is trying to do somemthing. The republicans can only hate and spit venom. This is class warfare at its best. The middle class wants more heathcare at a better price and the rich don't want to pay for it because they are too greedy. The problem for the rich is they don't have the numbers to get get the votes. This is the way class is leveled in our country. When the rich get too rich and steel from the lower classes. Politics turns the tide back.

    December 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. tony

    CNN just this morning you post that support for the bill is up by 6 percentage point now you are saying bad news for Obama how credible is your organisation? beats me

    December 22, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Krista10

    And....doesn't say what they disapprove of and how many really don't understand what the bill implies. I'd like to see a point by point review of it short enough to at least give some indication of the "why" relative to the two polls.

    December 22, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. jane

    I believe the opposing numbers are large because they include many people who believe the bill is lame, that is, without the needed major changes of a public option and a medicare buy-in for younger seniors. It sickens many of us to know that the insurance industry will now get even richer.

    At least, one good thing has come from this, I hope, and that is that deplorable back-room deal-making has been exposed to the light of day for the first time. As a Democrat, I respect Sen. Reid, but his euphemism "compromise" does not wash. And then to make the statement that it doesn't speak well of the senators who don't do this suggests that this behavior has become so common that even the senators themselves see no wrong in what they're doing. I hope that what has come to light over the past few days about Lieberman, Nelson and others will signal the beginning of a new era in politics when our representatives will actually have to vote for or against items on the merits alone. - Or the press "will make them famous."

    December 22, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. David

    What exactly do those 53% know about the particulars of the bill and how did the pollsters pose the question? These numbers will turn on a dime as soon as this bill is passed and real people start feeling the real benefits that come with it.

    December 22, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. BOB

    Given these clear polls–it is also clear that Obama's and the Democratic Congresses' agenda re healthcare is to take unconstitutional Federal Government control of the healthcare system for everyone while shifting/redistributing wealth in the form of subsidized premiums to the rabble that don't pay taxes and don't work but do vote for that Communist liar who calls himself President of this wonderful country. Once they take control they figure it will be too late for anyone to try to dislodge them from bloodsucking the necks of the American people–because they will now control our daily lives thru control of healthcare. These criminals must be stopped at the election booths of 2010 and for sure to ride this Chicago gangster out on a rail in 2012–OR OUR COUNTRY IS LOST!!!

    December 22, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. Mike1952

    This is old news to those of us who have been reading accurate polls for weeks.

    December 22, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. larrywi

    The agenda to pass has nothing to do with what is best for the people, when is everyone going to see that! This is nothing more than an attempt to satisfy an ego trip for Obama, Polosi, Reid, and Frank, and nothing more. They will rob from Peret to pay Paul, along with hoping that when 2014 rolls around they will have taxed us enough to cover the costs. This bill is BADDDDDD, and they are giving us all the bird! Your taxes will go up in order to support this worthless bill! How in the hell are peopl who are not employed going to pay for health coverage, or pay the fine for not having it? They won't have to worry about it because those of us who are working will cover the costs, jut like we are doing now, only now the cost will be substantially higher. The smart guy would have created the jobs first, then tackled HC!!

    December 22, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. Fed Up

    What is really sad, is that even if 100% of Americans were against the bill, the morons in Congress (Dems and Repubs) would still push it through. They think they know what is best for this country, maybe listening to the people is the best idea!

    Oh, never mind, they do know what is best for all of us! I forgot, I am suppose to just keep my mouth shut and thank them for taking care of me.

    December 22, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Michael K

    Of course the American people oppose this bill. Republican obstructionism, Democratic timidity and the brazeness of the Health lobbies have turned this bill into a monster with little real relief for anyone except the Insurance Cartel and Big Pharma.

    The President needs to man up: veto this nightmare and take the fight to Republicans in the strongest possible terms. They have been dishonest in this debate and they have placed the genuine interests of their constituencies behind those of industry interests. Who couldn't beat these bozos with their disreputable and unethical behavior.

    After the 2010 elections, maybe a good bill can happen. Or maybe none at all. In any event, vetoing the bill makes it a Republican 'victory' and they deserve the credit for this.

    December 22, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. rodney ingram

    I am 60+ years old and i have always voted democracty. i will never vote for another one. i will change partys.

    December 22, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Ray

    More Americans opposed the bill because the public option was dropped.. But more Americans will support the health care reform if it passed.

    December 22, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. cocopial

    Where is CNN get their statistics from? It is a joke!

    December 22, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. Colin

    Imagine how much more support this bill would get if even a small percentage of Republicans decided to do the right thing and drop the politics for once. The positive energy would spread, the polls would reverse, the insurance companies would do a double take, and this whole thing might work out in the end.

    December 22, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. Ryan

    Here's a new poll question: what percentage of those who oppose the bill can tell you anything about it without falling back to "death panels," "government takeover," or "socialism." Opposition to this bill is based not on disagreement with its policies but rather on fear spawned from right-wing scare tactics. I challenge you: if you do not support this bill, what **specifically** about it do you not support? What change or policy do you actually have a problem with?

    December 22, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. Mike

    The problem with polls is the statistics depend on exactly what was asked and how it was worded. It may be true that the majority of Americans oppose the Health Care bills, but if half of those negatives were because of one part of the bill and the other half of the negatives were because of a completely different part of the bill, then that's the definition of compromise. Nobody gets everything they want, but everybody gets SOMETHING they need.

    December 22, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. Joanna in PA

    We want a PUBLIC OPTION!!!!!!!!

    December 22, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Billy J..Texas..

    That's because it doesn't have what either side wants so both sides have folks who answer honestly and say they don't like it. I don't like it, because it doesn't have a public option. So although I think they still need to pass what they have, I don't like it. Just like I don't like a doctor that sews up an artery but doesn't do close the wound. I still need the artery closed and have to take what I can get if he refuses to finish the second half of the job. The poll is very misleading. GOOD JOB telling people what the questions actually were and how the answers broke down. NOT!

    December 22, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. JK

    How can the democrats and Obama feel confident in their bill when they received no republican votes, bullied and bought many democrat and independent votes, and they choose to pass it at 1 am on Monday morning?
    Very bipartisan of them. I thought Mr. Obama claimed that he wouldn't stand for this type of politics and would reach across the aisle?

    Right...he lied about that, pulling the troops out and ending the wars, and all the while he has spent more of our future generations' money than all other previous administrations combined.

    What a clown.

    December 22, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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